In the last couple of years, more and more females have been making their presence behind the wheel of a stock car at the Kalamazoo Speedway. Why is that you ask? Why not!? Females are proving that racing isn’t just a male dominated sport and they too can hang with the guys on a Saturday night. Drivers like Michelle Sexton, Darlene Johnson, and Kelli Jo Hofacker have been good examples of female drivers that have raced at Kalamazoo Speedway in the past decade and showed that they belonged in the sport. Sexton unofficially retired mid-season in 2011 after being in a accident that destroyed her Modified. Johnson and Hofacker still make limited appearances in the Sport Stock class.
In 2011, 14 different female drivers made appearances throughout the 5 weekly classes that run at Kalamazoo Speedway every week. The Cyber Stock division saw 3 female drivers finish in the top 12 in points. Kaylee Misak who is the driver of the #14 Cyber Stock won 2 “A” Features and finished 5th in the points. The #14.2 of Lauryn Rousseau finished 8th in points and the #25 of Felicia Meade finished 12th in the final standings. Lindsey Katz #20 had some strong outings in the Modified class that led her to a 6th place finish in the points and showed a lot of improvement towards the end of the season. Ashley Markillie #5 finished 10th in the Pure Stock points and 3rd in the Rookie of the Year standings and also showed improvement as the season went on. These are just a few of the females drivers that have highlighted the weekly classes most recently.
With the addition of the Mini Stock class in 2012, I would expect to see the female driver count rise as the Mini Stocks are another good entry level class along with the Cyber Stocks. It wouldn’t surprise me to see a female win a championship in one of the weekly classes in the near future and would only make the sport even more popular amongst the female audience. So when attending the Kalamazoo Speedway this season make sure you remember that there are females out on the track too, and they are just as capable to drive the car hard into the corner and race door to door with any male competitor out there and who knows they may even beat them!